Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 443-444.
Newbern, the county seat, is on the great stage-route from Baltimore to Nashville, Tenn., 222 miles southwesterly from Richmond, 19 miles from Christiansburg, and 28 from Wytheville. It is the only village in the county, and one of considerable business for an inland town: its location is high and airy, giving a fine view of the neighboring valleys and mountains. It contains 5 mercantile stores, 1 Presbyterian and 1 Methodist church, and a population of about 300. Peak Knob, 4 miles south of Newbern, is a prominent projection in Draper's mountain, rising about 1,000 feet, and presenting from its summit a delightful and extensive landscape. Iron ore exists in abundance in this mountain, and also coal of a good quality. In its vicinity are mineral springs, supposed to possess valuable medicinal qualities. On the north bank of New River, near Newbern, there is a bluff called the Glass Windows, consisting of vertical rocks, nearly 500 feet high, and forming the immediate bank of the stream for a distance of four miles. They are considered a great curiosity. The face of these rocks is perforated by a vast number of cavities, which no doubt lead to caves or cells within the mountain. Some of these cells have been explored and found to contain saltpetre, stalactites, and other concretions.